Despite Finland’s small size, it has made a mark in the sports betting industry, ranking as one of the top 10 gambling countries. This position is no surprise to many Finnish people who are well aware of the sports betting culture in the country. After all, if recent statistics are anything to go by, at least 75% of the population gambles! So, despite the country occupying a much smaller area than most of its competitors, it makes up for its size with its significant number of gamblers.
The growth of sports betting has caught the eye of many investors. These include bookies like Betway, who have been fast to explore the prospects of this market. But it’s not just the bookies who are eyeing the prize – punters have also doubled their betting efforts, doing their best to walk away with millions of Euros. This compound effect has further propelled Finland’s position in the sports betting arena.
But just how big is the sports betting market, and why has it flourished so rapidly?
Let’s Talk Numbers
The Finnish gambling market, as a whole, accounts for an average of €2.0bn annually. However, this amount does not accrue from sports betting alone but instead accounts for sports betting, gaming, and lotteries. Presently, gaming is at the forefront, with sports betting coming in at a close second, both online and offline. Even so, it helps to point out that gaming not only encompasses casino games but also features e-sports which explains its high percentage.
So, how is the €2.0bn distributed? Finland has a thriving offline and online gambling market. The offline market caters to punters and gamers who prefer frequenting physical bookies. This market generates an average of €870 m. Much of this results from gaming and lotteries, as only 5% accrues from sports betting. It is quite clear that most sports bettors are not fond of offline betting, a reason we will cover in-depth within this article.
Sports betting shines in the online market. Of the €1.135 billion average annual revenue, this industry accounts for 24% of the income. While lotteries and gaming take up 76%, the percentage increase is considerable. When you combine what the market generates offline and online, it comes to an average of €400 million, which is not a drop in the ocean.
It’s safe to say that the sports betting market generates 20% of Finland’s gambling revenue. And by the looks of things, the CAGR is rising, and this percentage should be higher by 2025.
Why Is Sports Betting So Popular In Finland?
Generating €400 million from an average of 75% of a total population of 5 million is not a walk in the park. Evidently, some underlying factors push Finnish people to bet on sports – factors that may not be as apparent in other regions. Which are they?
1. Availability of Numerous Betting Opportunities
The Finnish government has paved the way for online and offline bookies to set up shop. So, punters can get their kick whether they want to do it via their phones and desktops or by walking into a bookie’s office.
The numbers show that despite the option to place bets online and offline, many Finnish people prefer wagering online. That’s because they enjoy perks such as:
- The convenience of placing wagers whenever they want to, as the sites are open 24/7,
- The anonymity of placing stakes on events without divulging data to third parties,
- Ease of access to winnings via different payment methods,
- The possibility of earning bonuses that reduce the capital investment in wagers, and
- The ease of shopping for odds.
Besides, many reliable bookies operate in the region, doing away with the need to frequent physical bookies.
2. Contribution to Social Causes
The government is heavily involved in the gambling industry. It uses the proceeds to develop the country, which prompts many citizens not to feel guilty about placing wagers. They know that if they win, they can enjoy the money. And if they don’t, the money will likely go into building a hospital or other facility to benefit other citizens. Many vital causes have benefited from gambling activities.
3. A Positive Gambling Attitude
Finnish people are very accepting of gambling, and many are comfortable placing wagers, playing in casinos, etc. It makes it easy for curious punters to excel in the industry without the fear of being shunned. And, of course, the possibility of making money does not hurt. Many people engage in sports betting to make a lot of money. They have seen other people win millions and hope to follow suit.